The failure of the officials to spot the facemask and/or roughing the passer penalties during the final play of Sunday’s Packers-Cardinals game directly resulted in Arizona’s 51-45 overtime win.
And before we go any farther in this regard, let’s be clear. Rule 12, Section 2, Article 5 states that “[n]o player shall twist, turn, or pull the facemask of an opponent in any direction.”
So Michael Adams’ hit on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers should have drawn a flag.
Also, Rule 12, Section 2, Article 13(3) plainly states that defenders may not “hit the passer, or use hands, arms, or other parts of the body to hit the passer in the head, neck, or face.”
So Adams committed not one but two penalties on the play — and the officials missed not one but both of them.
And here’s our biggest concern. But rule, replay can’t be used to determine that a facemask or a roughing the passer penalty occurred.
It’s not available because it’s not on the list of specific uses for instant replay.
But maybe it should be. We believe that the league should embrace replay technology for all purposes, especially in those cases where no judgment or discretion by the officials is involved.
Recently, the league decided to add clock errors to the list of reviewable plays, taking the unusual step of instituting the change during the season, so that a clock error won’t affect the outcome a playoff game.
As we saw on Sunday night, many other errors can affect the outcome of a playoff game. And we think the league should strive to ensure that none do.